Date of Award

Summer 1986

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Alcohol abuse/alcoholism in the United States annually results in numerous social and health problems which affect millions of people from a variety of age, ethnic, and economic groups. One group which has historically been largely unaffected by alcoholism is the Jews. Various theories and hypotheses have been proposed to explain this Jewish phenomenon. This study explores how the Jewish family as a small group impacts upon the drinking behavior of its members through its communication patterns. Small group verbal and nonverbal communication variables are identified through the use of depth interviewing of Jewish families. The communication behaviors between Jewish parents and children may suggest from a small group perspective why rates of alcoholism remain low among Jews.